NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 15th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (22-15-8) at Edmonton Oilers (16-23-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After a storyline-driven opener to their three-game road
trip on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings are likely looking forward to a
more under-the-radar meeting with the Edmonton Oilers.
The streaking Kings look to deal the Oilers a sixth defeat in a row this
evening and continue a move up the Western Conference standings after last
night's win over Calgary.
Saturday's meeting with the Flames drew plenty of interest because of Mike
Cammalleri coming back to the Flames via trade as well as Los Angeles head
coach Darryl Sutter making his return to the city of Calgary. Sutter had
served as general manager of the Flames for eight years, which included a
stint as head coach, before stepping down in December of 2010.
Sutter came out on top in his return against the Flames and their head coach
Brent Sutter, Darryl's brother, with a 4-1 win that was fueled by a goal and
an assist each by Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.
"I thought we were pretty sluggish in the first period. But we played really
well in the second period and our power play came up with a huge goal," said
Darryl Sutter, referring to Anze Kopitar's second-period goal that made it
Matt Greene also scored and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the Kings, who
rebounded from a shootout loss to the Stars on Thursday to improve to 8-1-4 in
their last 13 games. That has Los Angeles three points behind the Sharks for
first place in the Pacific Division and seventh overall in the West.
The Kings swept their four-game series with the Oilers last year, but were
dealt a 3-0 home setback in the first meeting this season on Nov. 3. Former
King Ryan Smyth had a goal and Nikolai Khabibulin made 19 saves.
Khabibulin, though, did not have the best birthday on Friday after the 39-
year-old was pulled in the second period of a 5-0 loss to Anaheim for allowing
three goals on 14 shots. Devan Dubnyk yielded another two scores on 14 shots
in relief as Edmonton lost its fifth game in a row.
The Oilers are 4-15-2 since last winning back-to-back games on Nov. 22-25.
"Anaheim won the game and they should have, there's no two ways about that.
But I'm not sure what they did that was so spectacular," said Oilers head
coach Tom Renney. "I think we were just brutal."
Edmonton continues to play without several injured players, including rookie
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, young star Jordan Eberle and defensemen Tom Gilbert and
"It's really tough to go through the losing like we do," said Oilers forward
Sam Gagner, who tried to spark the club with a second-period fight. "All we
can do is put in hard work at practice and get good habits and turn ourselves
into a winner."
Edmonton, which concludes a three-game homestand, has lost five of its past
seven as the host overall and six in a row at home to Los Angeles.
01/15 10:32:48 ET